advent calendar

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We are in the midst of another exciting and busy Christmas season at the Hofen house.  There are “parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, and caroling out in the snow.”  Like so many others, there are so many things to do and people to see and places to go during this “most wonderful time of the year.”  But even in the midst of the busy schedule, we are still trying to maintain some simple and meaningful traditions in our home.  And one of those traditions is to keep an advent calendar.  In the past, I’ve just gone to the store and picked up some of those flat, rectangle-shaped calendars that have the little doors that flip open to reveal a little piece of chocolate every day.  I just love those things!  But for some reason, I’m feeling adventurous this year and decided to switch it up a little bit.  (I blame it all on Pinterest!)

Here is our recipe for this year’s advent calendar:  small cardboard boxes that look like cute little milk cartons when they get assembled, ribbon for decoration, and last but not least, chocolate (or whatever fun treat you want to put inside each box).

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Step 1:  Assemble the boxes.  I used Recollections brand from Michaels that came boxed in a set of 24, which turns out to be the perfect number for our calendar.

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Step 2:  Fill the boxes.  I put four Lindor truffles in each box, one for each kiddo and one extra for Superman.  If I didn’t put one in there for him, he might just steal (ahem, I mean borrow) from the kids, so it’s easier if I just give him one too.  Please tell me I’m not the only mom who has to deal with this issue!

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Step 3:  Add ribbon.  Our house is filled with touches of tartan this year.  (Again, I blame Pinterest!)  So this little ribbon gives a little holiday touch that matches the rest of the house, but it’s still simple and easy.  I probably could have gone for the gusto and made labels with the numbers 1-24 to mark the days, but I was trying to keep it user-friendly.  My oldest, Emma, marked numbers on the bottom of each box, just so we can  keep track of  which box to open each day.  But you wouldn’t have to do that step if you don’t want.  Also, I didn’t want to permanently attach anything to the boxes so I could still use them for other years and other seasons.

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Enjoy!  It’s not complicated, it’s not super fancy, but it’s fun and helps our family keep up a Christmas tradition that my kids look forward to every year.  Hopefully you’re December is off to a great start.  I’m sure that “they’ll be much mistletoeing, and hearts will be glowing as loved ones are near.”  Don’t get too busy.  Take some time to savor “the most wonderful time of the year.”  Now I’m off to go find Superman and start some mistletoeing!

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